tv The FOX Report With Shepard Smith FOX News October 3, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
8:55 eastern for all the questions, answers, maybe a few zingers. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. that's it for this "special report," fair, balanced u and unafraid. believe it or not "special report" online starts right now. >> shepard: this is "the fox report." tonight, escalation in the war in syria. turkey striking back at syria after a deadly mortar attack. and now world powers coming together to figure out what to do next. plus, just two hours to go until the presidential nominees take the stage here and face off for the very first time. after more than a year of speeches and ads, rallies and fundraisers, president obama and governor romney tonight finally square off face-to-face. >> the president will talk about we need to continue to build the economy from the middle class out and things like education and manufacturing. >> governor romney's focus is
talking directly to the voters about what his plans are to strengthen the middle class and get this economy back on track. >> shepard: and with millions of undecided voters still out there, the stakes could not be higher. tonight, the home stretch in the race for the white house. plus, it's not just the candidates who are in the hot seats. a closer look at debate moderators and why the pressure is more intense than ever before. and good evening from the university of denver where we are just two hours away from an historic and high stakes showdown. president obama and governor mitt romney facing off here in their first debate. with less than five weeks to go until election day, a live look now at the stage here in denver. analysts say both men have a lot of on the line tonight. the president trying to hang on to what is a slim lead in the national polls and most battleground states. governor romney trying to shake up the race by making his case to what should be the biggest television audience of his political career.
here's the format for what will happen tonight. six 15-minute segments. the first three on the economy. then healthcare. then the role of government. and finally governing. president obama will go first. won the coin toss. governor romney will have the last word. organizers say they decided that and today we got a preview of the game plan from both sides here on fox news channel. starting with the president's campaign. >> well, we're overcoming what was the worst recession since the great depression. we have made a lot of progress. we are losing 800,000 jobs a month. obviously we have created 5 million jobs. he will talk about the progress we have made and lay out a road map to create good paying sustainable jobs for the middle class. >> we have seen record unemployment for 43 consecutive months. 47 million americans on food stamps. one in six in poverty. if that's progress i hate to see what the next four years look like.
>> shepard: well, as i mentioned, the president and governor romney will probably be speaking to the biggest tv audience of the campaign. four years ago on this night, 52 million americans watched the first presidential debate between then senator obama and senator mccain. this year, the kneilson company estimates more than 35 million watched president obama's speech at the democratic convention and more than 30 million governor romney's acceptance speech. but lots of people watching tonight may have already cast their ballots. early voting is underway in 10 states including the battleground of ohio. we have team fox coverage tonight. ed henry traveling with the president. first to campaign carl cammeron with the romney camp. carl, this is his big night. what's the thinking about the mood in that campaign? >> well, they kept mr. romney under wraps today in order to keep him focused. he had a very brief meeting with his senior staff and great deal today was actually spent with his staff. they don't want to leave it in the locker room they want him to come out and bring best game this evening. they are quite confident about it by virtue stepping on to
the stage tonight as the challenger, mitt romney has the most to gain. they fully expect by virtue of standing next to the president there could be a bounce in the polls as a consequence of that. having said all of they're, the race to lower's examines appears to have been won by mr. rom anymore. the latest gallup poll shows fairly decisively when it comes to who voters thinks will win the debates president obama has a substantial lead. there you see it, 57% think president obama will win the three presidential debates in the next three and a half, four weeks and that governor romney will lose them or at least a third of them asked believe that. romney has the opportunity to overachieve. it's sort of what campaigns want. it seems counter intuitive though you would want voters to have low expectations for you it gives mr. romney an opportunity to not only lay out his case but to pick apart president obama's. the theme will be as we have heard over and over and over again in recent weeks the country can't afford four more years like the last four years. romney wants to do it in a way
that shows he is capable, able, has solutions, dodges. so barbs by the president regarding his alleged specificity. people find it difficult to access mr. romney. this will give an opportunity to show people who he really is shep? >> shepard: carl, a new ad out tonight. i wonder if that gives us a hint of what we might hear in this debate. >> it does. mr. romney has been complaining in the recent weeks that the president often misrepresents his position on abortion, the auto bailout. basic tax policy, et cetera. mr. romney also plans to point out that the president has been saying, you know, well, some parts of the economy are doing okay and that the recovery is underway. here is mitt rom know camera one of those ads where he speaks directly to the people, no big music and pictures of others that sort of apple pie and motherhood stuff. this is mitt romney saying what he thinks. >> too many americans today are struggling, living paycheck to paycheck. more americans live in poverty than when president obama took office. >> and the follow-up to that the next line in the ad and
the next line in the debates will be that the country simply cannot afford another four years. and this contrast that mr. romney is putting forth about what he refers to as the obama agenda's dependency society one which big government and debt continues to grow and people lose their liberty and opportunity as entrepreneurs and business people to make their own prosperity versus what is he promising less government, less debt and more opportunity, shep? >> shepard: carl cammeron in denver tonight. governor romney has been here in the mile high city where the weather is quite dry. getting ready for this debate. he has been here for a while now. president obama did his preps outside a resort in las vegas and arrived in colorado today. ed henry is here in denver as well. what are you expecting to hear from the president tonight, shep? >> when you talk to the president wants top advisors they say he is pretty comfortable. 2008 the summer of the democratic convention where he launched hope and change he signed the stimulus bill into law in this city in 2009. now they expect is he going to come up big again tonight.
he was quiet today, stayed off the campaign trail but had one of his best surrogates former president bill clinton aides say will be the primary case tonight which this was an economic crisis he inherited and tough to turn around in one term. take a listen to bill clinton. >> the economy is not fixed. i'm telling you nobody could have fixed this much damage in four years. but the president's economic plan is better in the short run, better in the long run and a vision of we're all in this together is a heck of a lot better than you're on your own. there is no you're on your own country in the world succeeding like those who have a good we're all in this together strategy. [cheers and applause] none, not one. the challenge for the president tonight though is back in early 2009 he said if he didn't turn around the economy for n. three years it would be a one-term proposition. that's the problem when you are incouple again you have got a record that's going to it be under microscope not
just from the moderator but mitt romney as well, shep. >> shepard: it seems he has a strategy of his own for going after mitt romney. >> when you talk about the president's advisors he says this is all policy. the president could be on the defensive talking about jobs, talking about debt. what they are looking at is sort of, sometimes, you know, a good defense is the best offense. so they want to go after mitt romney on these very same issues. they say that when you look at mitt romney's plan, even though he doesn't have a record as president, the math just doesn't add up. listen to stefanie cutter. >> he will will say he is going to cut the deficit, please. he wants $2 trillion in new defense spending that the pentagon didn't ask for. a 5 trillion-dollar tax cut wealthy that he won't say how he will pay for. >> i spoke to two different officials with the president, he said he was very calm, very cool, getting downtown in his hotel right now. remarkable to be calm this calm right now knowing so much is on the line, shep. >> shepard: a lot in deed. ed henry live in denver.
let's bring in chris wallace. have you spoken to both camps today, what did you learn? >> i have been working the phones trying to get a preview and the most interesting thing i learned is that the romney camp says that their guy is going to really go on offense when it comes to the obama record. they had noticed in the polls that people are getting a little bit more optimistic about the economy, that romney is losing some of his edge in the polls on who would handle the economy better. so they say he is really going to take it to obama on the obama record over these past four years. and one of the points they are going to make is he made a lot of promises to voters in 2008. they are going to say he hasn't kept those promises. i talked about the fact that one of the other problems that romney has got is likability. that people like obama more than they like romney. the romney camp says they are not worried about likability. they want him to stay on offense tonight and they expect it to get very heated. >> shepard: what about on the president's part? i think the president knows he going to have to play defense
on his record. unemployment is high. g.d.p. growth is very low. where they think they can take it to romney is on his plans. they have say there are a lot of holes as you just heard stefanie cutter in ed henry's report. they say a lot of these things don't add up. romney is the guy who wants to give more tax cuts to wealthy and give vouchers to seniors for medicare. they are really going to try to poke holes in romney's record going forward. a lot of republicans have brought forth ideas about how to cut through this 47% quote that came from that recorded comment of governor romney do think have a strategy to do that. is that on the table tonight. >> oh yeah. i don't know. but what i was told is that he knows he is going to get that and is he going to say, look. i didn't say it right. look at the totality of my life. look what i did as the pastor in the mormon church. look what did i saving the
olympics and look what i did as the governor of massachusetts. i'm not for a small percentage. i'm not for helping the rich. i'm for opportunity for all. obviously obama got to have a come back for that that could be one moment where i talked about romney not being particularly concerned about being likeable. they might turn that into a touchy feely moment and say this is what i really care about. >> shepard: that could harassment brit human was speaking about how you can learn a lot about someone's character and disposition in these things because sometimes the moment gets away and you might get a glimpse of who one man or the other really is i wonder if you guard against that sort of thing or if you try to go -- >> yeah, it's like the old word from hollywood sincerity is the key once you learn how it to fake that, you have got it made. you are exactly right. four and a half hours in three debates under intense scrutiny, intense pressure from the moderators. tens of millions of americans watches. have you got to figure at some point their true characters are going to come through, no matter how much they have been
prepped beforehand. >> shepard: we are looking forward to it chris wallace, thanks. there is a lot more news tonight. a child and at least four other people are dead after somebody in syria fired a shell across the border into turkey. and then turkey apparently fired back. that's across border squirmish. there is a problem with the nato charter and treaty. nato ambassadors are right now trying to decide what should be done next. an international situation is escalating. and the response from washington is coming up. plus, we will speak with representatives from each campaign. the democrats and the republicans on this historic night as fox reports live from the university of denver ahead of the first presidential debate in this election from the journalists of fox news, this is is "the fox report." mike rowe here at a ford dealer with a little q&a for fiona.
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turkey responded with strikes inside syria. the military alliance held a rare emergency meeting, condemned the initial syrian attack. the u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton said the united states is outraged and the white house released a statement, part of which reads: we stand with our turkish ally and are continuing to consult closely on the path forward. syria and turkey our one-time allies turned enemy enemies now. turkey hosts hundreds of thousands of syrian refugees all of whom escaped that war. syria has hit turkish targets before including a turkish spy plane back in june.
jennifer griffin following the situation from the pentagon. turkey, a member of the nato alines, now the nato leaders have come together. what came of that meeting? this was in a very unusual late night meeting called an emergency session in brussels among nato ambassadors. we understand that turkey has now asked the u.n. security council to take, quote, necessary actions against syria to stop these kind of attacks. it's interesting that that alliance meeting was called under article 4 of the nato charter as you know an attack by one is an attack by all under article 5 of that charter. it's significant that turkey has not yet invoked article 5. but, again, syria crossed the line with this mortar attack into turkish civilian areas. just as they did when they shot down a turkish fighter jet in international waters earlier this year. >> we are outraged that the syrians have been shooting across the border.
we are very we getful about the loss of life that has occurred on the turkish side. we are working with our turkish friends. i will be speaking with the foreign minister later to discussion what the best way forward would be. >> so, shepard, at this late hour tonight, it's not clear where all of this is heading. >> of course, jennifer, we all know the nightmare scenario is that what is happening in syria becomes a regional conflict, not that that's begun, it certainly hasn't. any sense of what the pentagon can do in the wake of this attack? >> a senior u.s. official told us tonight that they did not think that the pentagon would get drawn into this squirmish across the border with turkey clearly they're watching it very situation escalating between turkey and syria. but it's most likely that turkey will handle the situation on its own, we're
told. it has a strong air force and a strong army with hundreds of thousands of troops. pentagon press secretary george little said, quote: this is yet another example of the depraved behavior of the syrian regime and why it must go. we regret the loss of life in turkey, a strong ally and continue to monitor the situation closely. both the white house and the state department have come out with strong statements and they said that they will back turkey in whatever it wants to do at the u.n. security council. shepard? >> shepard: jen griffin at the pentagon for us tonight. jennifer, thank you. meantime a one-eyed terrorist suspect who has a steel hook for a hand is, quote: too depressed to be extra dieted from great britain to the united states. that's according to his attorney. is he abu hamza al masri. is he wanted here on charges that he helped to set up a terror training camp in oregon, among other things. is he also notorious in great britain for turning his london mosque into a breeding ground for extremists.
al masri lost an eye and a hand in afghanistan fighting the soviets back in the day. his attorney says al masri is suffering from memory loss and inability to concentrate. that attorney wants him to undergo a brain scan to determine whether he is well enough to face extradition proceedings. a fox urgent now and a live look at the scene in bay town, texas, east of houston. where right now a big fire is burning at an exxon mobil plant. very few details coming into the fox newsrooms across the country. we don't know how the fire began and whether anyone is hurt there or whether or not the entire plant is evacuated. we will will keep an eye on this through the this newscast and bring you news as we get it secretary of state hillary clinton vowed to get to the bottom of the deadly consulate attack in libya no matter how long it takes. the fbi still has yet to even visit the scene. more than three weeks after the death of the united states ambassador chris stevens. and don't be too surprised if foreign policy somehow creeps into this debate tonight.
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>> shepard: when president obama and governor romney take the stage behind me in denver tonight it may look a little familiar. organizers say they have been using the same set since 1988. they tell us they have made a few updates over the years but the candidates have no say at all over those changes. it's all up to the nonpartisan commission on presidential debates that runs these things. election officials across the country say they expect more americans to vote absentee this year compared to the last cycle. our senior correspondent eric shawn in new york city tonight. hey, eric. >> the numbers are growing. how safe are absentee ballots where you mail in your vote.
over 90 million people voted by absentee ballot in 2010. those are the numbers that voted. more than 14 million voted by absentee ballot. over 15% of use those according to federal election officials. in new jersey they expect to handle 40,000 absentee ballots for this election. john hogan the county clerk say there is a rigorous procedure that involves both democrat and republic election officials overseeing them. >> we have a very thorough verification process so that anyone who should be able to vote and chooses to vote by mail their right will be preserved. they will be able to vote by mail. >> the ballots are kept secure in a locked and 24-hour guarded room with protection for restricted access. some say absentee ballots are the easiest way to commit voter fraud there have been absentee ballot prosecutions this year in at least 10 states. >> the board of elections people are overwhelmed during the time of an election, they
sometimes don't have the time to compare the signature on the application to the sir -- to the signature on file. when that occurs, an be a an absentee goes out. >> another candidate used them to vote repeatedly for himself. in another the absentee ballot cast for the opposing candidate were simply ripped up and thrown away to steal the election. shep? >> shepard: eric shawn in new york. thanks. much more on the debate in a moment. an important story developing along our southern border. officials in mexico denies that they arrested suspects on attack on u.s. border patrol agents. investigators here in the u.s. confirm nobody is in custody as of now. yesterday's shooting happened in a known drug smuggling corridor near arizona. several agents responding to an alarm on a border sensor which officials say attackers opened fire. one agent was died and another hurt. the wounded agent is now out
of the hospital after undergoing surgery. we have a forecast agent who died. his name is nicholas ivy. the white house says president obama has called agent ivy's family to offer condolences and express gratitude for his service. for only the second time in united states history, a woman will moderate a presidential debate. critics say that's a start. but that they would like to see a lot fewer white men behind the mike. tonight's moderator is jim leher, he will be running the show for the 12th time. what's it like trying to keep presidents and candidates in line. we'll hear from somebody who has done the job as we countdown to the first presidential tee bait of 2012 on this special edition of "the fox report" live tonight from denver. issan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool.
>> shepard: i'm shepard smith. this is the fox report. it's the bottom of the hour, time for the top of the news. live tonight from denver. and it's not just the presidential a lot on the line this evening. debates like this one scheduled for this evening can also be nerve-wracking for the moderators. consider this, they have to keep the candidates on track. they have to push for answers without seeming all pushy and such. and they have to make sure they are fair to both sides. all of that with tens of millions of people watching the moderators' every move. "the fox report's" correspondent jonathan hunt is with us. it may be an honor to watch moderate the debates but it's not easy.
>> the anchor of pbs has sat in the madder rarts before. but in today's hyperpartisan world where everybody has an opinion facebook mr. lehrer is bound to wake up wake up tomorrow morning finding himself criticized by the left or right or both, our own senior political analyst brit. center of the attention and yet in a sense you don't want to be. you want the candidates to be the superior have to be firm enough and sharp in your questioning enough debate. you have to be careful to not ever cross the line where it looks like you are favoring one candidate over another. i think it's exceedingly challenging. >> challenging indeed. hard to find examples of anybody who has been offered the moderator job, shep and turned it down. >> shepard: you name a topic, can i tell you a complaint.
in this we have heard complaints about a lack of diversity among the moderators. >> it's interesting. when you look at the three presidential debate moderators this year. candy crowley of cnn is only the second woman to moderate a debate. the first, in fact, for 20 years. according to fox news contributor juan williams there, many are other sections of the population that have simply never been represented. listen. >> someone who would represent the fact the fact that you have a growing hispanic population, growing black population in terms of percentages. all of that at a time when those percentages are now especially among young people adding up to close to half the american population to, again, see that it's an all white group of moderators is somewhat disappointing. >> the crux of this criticism is that the moderators are all old, boring and white. i think jim lehrer, candy crowley and bob schieffer could obviously not argue that they are white. they might argue they are not that old. they certainly argue that
they're not particularly boring. shep? >> shepard: no, and they are not. jonathan hunt with us. thanks. governor romney spent weeks criticizing president obama's foreign policy agenda particularly since that consulate attack in libya attack that killed chris stevens. today secretary of state hillary clinton vowed a thorough investigation into the attack to determine if mistakes were made and if so who made them. >> we have already formed an accountability review board to examine this attack and to explore how we can prevent anything like this from happeninged in the future. men and women who serve this country as diplomats deserve no less than a full and accurate accounting wherever that leads. >> shepard: but secretary clinton does caution with an investigation of this magnitude we may not have the answers for some time. read after the election.
catherine herridge. are we going to get some kind of answers before the election or is everybody going to put off? >> this document will be published tomorrow by the state department about its internal investigation into the attack known as an accountability review board or arb. the document says the board will submit its finding within 60 days of the first meeting unless they need more time. in other words, there is no legal time limit for the board to report. so don't expect anything about this attack before the election. for some context, the state department investigation into the 1998 embassy bombings in africa was issued five months after those attacks. within the last hour we are learning more about the witnesses who will testify on wednesday before the house government oversight committee hearing on security lapses. they include eric nordstrom stationed in libya until june of this year. in a briefing to the committee nordstrom had asked for security help and it was denied, shep. >> shepard: catherine, the fbi reportedly still has not been to that consulate. yet another reporter just managed to get. >> there well, more than three weeks after the attack, the
consulate in benghazi is still not secure. according to a "the washington post" reporter on the ground of benghazi, sensitive documents including the ambassador' itinerary, personnel files and records outlining efforts to round up loose weapons can be found in loose sight. a republic on that oversight committee is criticizing the administration's stated reliance on this fbi investigation given agents are not in ben georgia's. -- benghazi. >> the area is too dangerous for the fbi but it wasn't dangerous enough for this administration to increase security. i would like to ask that and i plan on doing it next week. >> the state department has yet to provide emails and other communications other security requested by republic senators corker and isakson as well as the house intelligence committee. shep. >> >> shepard: debate on domestic policy not foreign policy. you never know what might come up during these showdowns. often when there is a major topic of discussion on the day
of the debate it works its way. in the mayor of los angeles is antonio i have larrville he is live outside the university of denver. mayor, nice to see you and thank you. >> good to see you too -- i can't see you but i can hear you. there is a little wind out here i hope can you hear me shep i am curious on what you think is president obama's number one job tonight in denver. >> i think his number one job is to do what he has done throughout the campaign. lay out a fact-based path ahead. how he got here in the first place. be acknowledged that we're still not out of the woods, but there is a path out. , to cut the deficit by $4 trillion, to make sure that we don't extend the bush tax cuts so that we can invest in education.
>> shepard: this sounds more like a list than a one thing. >> those are the ones -- that's the list,at's the one th. >> shepard: one thing that's been bubbling up on the campaign trail today is the statement by joe biden that he made this afternoon i'm sure you are aware of it that the middle class had taken a beating over the last four years. they came back to say that they meant for a long time. the facts, the statistics would suggest he is right the first time. the middle class is having a hard time, mr. mayor. >> i think what the vice president biden was talking about what was the failed polics that brought us here. that brought us to the hole that we are trying to dig ourselves out of. the president has a path to do that. romney says that he does as well. but all his plan is is a regrand jury owe -- regure i
regrand jury station. >> are you surprise zeed heard so little about afghanistan? we have a situation now in afghanistan where what we are supposed to be doing is training the afghans to run their own show and really what they're doing is killing our soldiers. there is talk about you as a potential -- there is talk down the road about you as one who might be able to weigh in on such matter. what do you think? >> well, i do think that in this campaign we should be talking about afghanistan. we have got troops out there. they are putting their lives on the line. we owe them a debt of gratitude and responsibility to talk about how we are going to move them out, what we are going to do to make sure they have the services and a job at the end of the rainbow. so thank you for asking that question. because i don't think it's a partisan one. i think on a bipartisan basis we ought to have that discussion. >> you know, a lot of republicans are asking how is it possible that the president is still leading in this race when the economy is in the kind of shape that he described a few years ago as
one that would leave him as a one termer. >> well, i think a lot of people agree with the president that it wasn't his policies that brought us here in the first place. they also acknowledge that we have had 30 straight months of growth. the president has a plan to put a million manufacturing jobs, create a million manufacturing jobs over the next couple of years. i think people get a feeling like the president is on the right track. they like him. in contra distinction when romney makes comments about not having to represent the 47%. that's hurt him. and i think it's hurt him particularly in ohio and some of the swing states. but that's what this debate is going to be about. we're going to have a more vigorous discussion about all of those things. and give everybody an opportunity to see the candidates up front. not on a commercial, but, you know, right there in the flesh and blood. >> shepard: and they will be behind us shortly.
antonio villaraigosa the mayor of los angeles and obama co-chair. sir, it's good to see you. thank you. >> thank you, shepard. >> shepard: we will get to the other side coming up in just a moment. a romney campaign advisor weighs in on the governor's chances on a very key swing state and what governor romney needs to accomplish tonight to gain the momentum. that's next as fox reports live tonight from denver. the us bank wealth management advisor can help you. every step of the way. from big steps, to little steps. since 1863 we've helped guide our clients, so they can take the steps to help grow, preserve, and pass along their wealth. so their footsteps can help the next generation find their own path. all of us serving you. us bank
>> shepard: governor romney got some good news as he heads into tonight's debate in denver. a new poll by the "wall street journal" and nbc news shows he is gaining on president obama, both nationwide and in a couple of swing states. the parent company of fox news channel owns the journal, by the way. according to the poll, the president now leads governor romney by 3 points among likely voters across the country, that's down from 5 points two weeks ago. the survey also shows the president's lead dropping to 1 point in the state of florida and two points in virginia. both of those statistical ties now. but the president actually gained a point in ohio and his 8-point lead is well outside the margin of error there. jim talent is a former republic senator from the state of missouri. and romney campaign advisor. he is with us here in denver as well. senator, good evening, thank you. what's governor romney's job number one tonight? >> well, if he was out here, shepard, his job number one would be to stand upright in the wind. since he he is going to be inside, i think his job is to go large about the issues and
about the choice before the american people in this election. you know, vice president biden was right. they the middle class has been buried and debt and regulation and taxes. we need to free them up and empower them. i think governor romney is going to present the choice and is he going to say what he would do about it. >> a lot of republicans, sir have said that governor romney, 47% remark is one that needs a button on it. it's one that needs an explanation and a turning point for him to get past it. how might he do that tonight? >> well, again, i think the answer is to go large and let the american people see his heart, his concern for what's happening to the middle class. i mean, you know, half the kids getting out of school can't get a job. and this has been going on for years. and then to talk about what he wants to do about it. you know, i just think he needs to transcend that by talking substance and talking about the choice that people have got. >> shepard: if he is the president, and you were too as
so many have suggested somewhere around the defense secretary, what would you do about afghanistan? is it time to come home? >> well, you know, yeah, i mean, regardless of what, you know, happens to me, governor romney wants to get the troops out by 2014, which is the current schedule. buff we have got a lot of work to do. we have got to make shearn that we have trained up the afghanistan security forces because we don't want to happen there what unfortunately may be happening in iraq where we sacrifice all these years and then we leave the government dessingrates. >> shepard: we have one goal left and that is to train afghan soldiers so they can train on their own. now that we have had so many insider attacks that we can't accomplish that goal under any circumstances. what i'm asking is a man who has been widely talked about as potential secretary of state do we need to speed that up process and if so how do we do it. >> we certainly need to do a better job of training the
afghan forces than we have done and training them up. i think a key is an understanding that we are committed to that goal and we intend to accomplish that. you know, the president has been led through -- he hasn't led. he has been has been weak in afghanistan beginning with the timetable he imposed during the time of the surge. if they know we are mitted to finishing the job we think we can do it on timetable and we are going to do it then i think the situation will improve. >> shepard: i'm noticing the wind behind you, and it seems like a very -- what may be a real serious storm is on the way. he has been faced with a number of storms through the this -- through the this campaign, not the least of which -- i think we need to cut this off. i hear the thunder out there, senator, it doesn't seem like a safe place for this to be. >> do you want to take one more question? i will risk it for another 30 seconds if you want to. >> shepard: all right. qui do that sir, what do you think is the possibility that in a state like ohio, that no republic has ever got tonight white house without winning that he can turn 8 points
around? >> look, i'm a believer that when the stakes are as high as they are in this election and the choice is clear as it is, the independent voters, they are going to wait until the end to make up their mind. i think everything is very soft now. and this debate is the first time in months they have had a sustained direct exposure in particular to governor romney but really to both of the candidates next to each other. we have got these debates coming up. we have a month when we have as much funding as the president to get our message out. this election is very much in play. i just don't believe any poll that purports to say different. >> shepard: jim talent, former senator, campaign advisor to the romney, sir. good luck and get back inside. that doesn't look safe for you or our technician. >> i will, thanks. >> shepard: thank you. wow, wasn't in the first alert forecast. who knew? voters in the crucial swing state of florida might want to take a comfortable chair when they head to the pools the ballot they will have to fill out is one of the lingerrest
officials in florida say they confer remember. would you look at that? no, it's not war and peace. it's the ballot. how that could effect the vote on election day. first, how many times you have heard if so and so wins the election i'm leaving the country. well, jetblue is now going to help do you that the airline now letting voters declare support for one candidate and if your candidate loses, jetblue enters new a raffle for one of more than a thousand tickets to a tropical destination out of this country. and just in case you have a change of heart and want to come back the tickets a round trip. the carrier calling it election protection. feels more to me like a publicity stunt. congratulations jetblue, you are now free to fly across the country. wait, that's not you exactly. we'll be right back.
>> shepard: well, you know florida is a key battleground state this election. voters there have to choose from one of the longest ballots in florida history. along with all the candidates for president and other offices, florida's ballot is packed with nearly a dozen proposed constitutional amendments. and experts warn that could trigger serious delays at polling places or even make some voters just decide to stay at home. florida has already had its share of election trouble as you no doubt know. who could forget hanging dempled chads during the recount in 2000. i would like to. steve harrigan is live in our florida newsroom. tell us more about this lengthy ballot. >> shepard, it's really these 11 constitutional amendments which make the ballots so long. for the average voter they estimate it could take up to 22 minutes just to read the ballots. so there is real concern on election day some voters may simply drop out. >> you get people who look at this long ballot.
it's 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 pages long and they say that's too much for me to tackle. they get put off and don't go at all. people who might go and vote for senate and congress suddenly look at this as a daunting task and now they are not going to do it at all. >> those 12 pages printed on both sides in english, spanish and creole will have to be scanned into a machine one page at a time. >> shepard: i guess people can read them online if they want to. what about delays? are they working on a fix? >> right now floridians are being encouraged to vote by mail. several counties also saying they will actually pay the postage. it's going to be 1.50 for the ballot. legislators are pushing back against the criticism. they say this is really an important voter responsibility and the ballot itself is an example of pure democracy. >> they are criticizing us allowing voters to decide the future of their state constitution which is one of
the most -- one of the best principles of american jurisprudence and american democracy and american politics. >> between reading, voting and scanning those pages, it's estimated it could be half an hour a voter. to so state officials pushing very hard to try to get that absentee ballot done by mail, shepard. >> shepard: steve harrigan in our newsroom biscayne bay. the federal department of law enforcement is investigating the allegations of voter fraud the allegations from the florida g.o.p. against the firm that the g.o.p. hired to register voters. party officials last week fired the company strategic allied consulting. they said it submitted more than 100 at least suspicious registrations. state parties in north carolina and virginia fired strategic ally among the same allegations. they blamed the problem on staffers not following rules. he said the firm will cooperate with the investigation. president obama's debate with governor romney tonight is preventing him from taking the first lady out tonight. under normal circumstances he
would. she will apparently let this one slide. even on their anniversary. we will countdown to mr. bill o'reilly. and then the first presidential debate. that's coming up just moments from now. mike rowe here at a ford dealer with a little q&a for fiona. tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of res? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern.
buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer. [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream... ♪ into a scooter that talks to the cloud? ♪ or make 70,000 trades a second...
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wouldn't leave him alone and that his subsequent messed up the canine that had the scene. cops caught him last year wearing the same get-up on the roof of a business. his sentence then six months' probation during which he was banned from wearing costumes. more reason that the one that is so entirely obvious, this is the president's 20th wedding anniversary. of course, mr. obama has a date with governor romney tonight. but he tweeted the first lady 20 years ago today i married the love of my life and my best friend. happy anniversary, michelle. i bet you that comes up tonight. staffers also posted a photo of the two on their wedding day. the first lady tweeted back happy 20th anniversary, barack, thank you for being incredible partner, friend and father every day. i love you. the first lady will be at tonight's debate. but we're told the couple will celebrate this weekend pack in washington. tonight's presidential debate is the first of three, of
course. the next one is october the 16th. new york city at hofstra. the next on october the 22nd in boca raton and the one and only vice presidential debate is a week from tomorrow in danville, kentucky we will have coverage of all the debates right here on fnc. updating some of fox top stories tonight. officials in mexico deny they made a arrest on deadly border agent. the family of the agent who died to offer condolences. exxon mobil plant outside of houston. it's seems some diesel ignited. the fire does not impose environmental threat and nobody is hurt. turkey asking the united nations to take necessary action to stop the violence in syria. this after the turkish prime minister officer fired a mortar that killed five turkish citizens in a young town including a young boy. today turkey struck back at syria with attacks of its own.
and on this day in 1895, the author stephan crane published the iconic civil war novel "the red badge of courage." crane was but 24 years old too young to have experienced the war himself. his tally of a -- tale of a union private made him a national celebrity. among the first novel to take civil soldier. crane reportedly watched football helped him write battle scenes. red badge of courage first occurred as newspaper series before publishers released it in book form. crane died at age 28 after a battle with tuberculosis. he published his master piece 117 years ago today. and now you know the news for this wednesday, october the 3rd, 2012. i'm shepard smith live in denver. we're back tom